Tips, Rips, and Reviews
By Michael Dalton Johnson

While the melodramatic term "energy vampire" smacks of the occult and late night movies, there really are people who suck positive energy from a room as soon as they enter it. You will become drained and exhausted if you are exposed for any length of time to the negative energy these people throw.

You have probably had the experience of encountering a person who drained your energy. There is no scientific research on this subject that I am familiar with, but there is a great deal of anecdotal evidence for its existence.

Some years back we employed a part-time independent contractor who started his work at our office mid-mornings. When he entered our small office, you could feel the energy draining. This was mentioned to me by several team members. One of my colleagues likened it to a plug being pulled on a fan.

The contractor seemed to be a normal person although he was unusually quiet and never smiled. I am sure that his negative effect on those around him was unintentional. However, his presence really did cause others to become exhausted and unfocused.

It would normally be easy to simply walk away from an energy-draining person, but in a small office setting it’s not always possible. I handled the situation by arranging for him work from home.

The high energy, creativity, and fun were no longer interrupted each morning.

Convert Leads Faster

"Be the Hero of your life," -- Jim Rohn

Brian Tracy is offering a FREE report on beginning your journey to reach your goals. Take that first step and download your copy here. Did I mention it's FREE?

I welcome your suggestions and comments. E-mail me here.

Take a look at my book Rules of the Hunt. Available at Amazon.

Shut Up and Ask Me Something
By Tim Wackel

Many sales reps have convinced themselves (and try to convince others) that their "communication" skills are exceptional. These folks are hired for their outgoing personalities and infamous gift of gab. They are fun to be around and are great at telling stories. I’m just not convinced they’re very good at connecting and creating real dialogue.

Talking comes easily for most sales reps, but getting others to listen is a bigger challenge— and a critical element to your long-term success.

Talk about what you’re interested in and your customer quickly loses interest. Their eyes turn dull as the conversation turns towards budget, timeframe or decision-making process. These topics may be of great interest to you, but not to your customer. They have problems to solve and that’s the primary reason you’ve been invited to the conversation.

Experience tells me customers want you to understand … customers want you to care … customers want you to help. And it’s impossible to understand, care, or help unless you you’ve asked the right questions. Asking better questions sounds easy enough – but there are many obstacles that get in the way. Here are the three most common "traps" I see reps fall into:

"I can’t ask lots of questions because I’ll look stupid or uncertain."

Get over it! Trust me — the sales world could use a lot more humility. If the customer says something you don’t understand, ask them about it. It demonstrates that you’re truly listening and not just waiting anxiously to make more statements. I’ve always believed that the more you get them to talk, the better they end up liking you. Be genuinely interested, ask more questions and watch the dynamics of your interactions begin to change.

"Busy customers just don’t have time to answer questions."

There is always enough time … even if you only have 10 minutes. What are the chances that you can talk for 10 minutes and all your ideas will be on target and accepted? Why not demonstrate your expertise and competence by asking well thought out, stimulating questions that get them to think in new ways?

"But wait!" you scream. "What if they insist that I just do my pitch?" Then politely share your concern that a generic presentation might not hold as much value for them. Let them know other clients prefer hearing tailored ideas rather than the standard 10 minutes of marketing fluff. Asking a few key (and POWERFUL) questions lets you diagnose before prescribing and ensures that you maximize the value of their time. If they still resist, then you need to ask yourself if this is the kind of customer that you really want to develop a relationship with.

"I didn’t prepare."

This is the number one reason why most sales people fail to ask great questions. Without proper preparation you are choosing to wing it, and when you wing it you ask narrow, mind-numbing questions. Don’t believe me? Set a recorder on your desk and capture your voice during a customer phone call. Play it back and analyze how much time you spent making statements versus listening (dead air is the goal!). Then pay particular attention to the quantity and quality of questions you asked. Are they open or closed? Did your questions get the customer to think differently or were they the same questions every other rep has asked them? Did they explore need, budget and timeframe, or were they designed to stimulate thinking around your specific benefits?

Asking great questions is a skill that top performers master. They refine their questions every week and benefit from increased insight, opportunity and bottom line sales.

It takes courage to admit you could be a better sales rep and confidence to believe you can change; it takes nothing to create excuses.

Tim Wackel is one of today’s most popular sales speakers because he makes information entertaining, memorable and easy to understand. See his website here.

Take a Break

Interesting But Useless Facts:

Hawaiian Punch was originally developed in 1934 as a tropical flavored ice cream topping.

Failed PEZ flavors include coffee, eucalyptus, menthol, and flower.

In the early stage version of The Wizard of Oz, Toto was replaced by a cow named Imogene.
  Dogfucious Says:

I don't have an attitude; I have a personality you can't handle.

Aging gracefully is like the nice way of saying you're slowly looking worse.

I had amnesia once - maybe twice.

If winning isn't everything why do they keep score?

  The Word

[ tran-spik-yoo-uh s ]

easily understood; lucid

Trivia Question:

Q: What do the M's stand for in M&M's?

A: Mars & Murrie's

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